To The Bench

The Old Days

Flashback to August of 2001. My fiancé and I are trying to decide which towels we should register for. There were those with stripes, those with patterns, those with multiple colors, and those plain ones that were extra thick.

What did I think my excited bride wanted to know. Well, I had told her twenty minutes prior that I preferred the plain ones that were extra thick. However, now I did not care.  I fell to my knees and shrieked, “If you love me, you’ll pick a towel, and we will leave.”

My enthusiasm for selecting household items for our registery had been nearly as high as my fiancé’s when we began at Macys six hours prior. However, now here in Bed Bath and Beyond, I was spent and simply wanted my day to end.

The Shopper

So, my wife makes the decisions regarding our household items. However, I do play a role.

Let me explain. Let’s say we need new sheets.

My wife will scour the internet. She is a sight to see when she does this. While she stares at the screen, she does not blink and her brow is furrowed. She is in her element, and it is best not to interrupt her. Believe me when I tell you: Don’t Interrupt! I speak from experience. Anyway, she painstainkingly reviews details of each potential purchase with much of her focus being on product reviews.  She will find a few options and then email them to me for my opinion.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Then I will offer my opinion. Sometimes she will select the item I favored and other times she won’t. I question her about this, but she always has a reason for her selection whether I agree with it or not.

Ultimately, I like my wife’s taste, so I normally go with the flow.

The Latest Household Item

“A what?” I had my wife repeat the latest household item that she felt we needed.

“A bench.” Is that sports related? I was very excited but not quite clear why we needed a bench. Was she taking the timeout thing a little too literally?

“No, no, no” she explained, “a bench goes in a mud room.”

“A mud room? What’s a mud room?”

“You know? When you first come into a house?”

“Oh. But we don’t have a mud room.”

“You don’t need a mud room to have a bench. The bench is to put stuff on.”

“Like a table?”

“No,” she laughed. She looked at me as if I were a Neanderthal. “I’ll just send you some and you can see them. Don’t worry about it.”


Well, we went through the process described above, and I rejected them. I still did not see the need. My wife was not deterred. She ordered a bench. A few days later when nothing came, I asked her about it. “Oh no,” she told me, “I canceled that.” The need for the bunch, seemingly canceled as well. Well, it came up again a few months later but still no purchase.  For nearly a year, my wife has been going through phases where she was and was not convinced we needed a bench.

Finally, she ordered a bench, put it together, and it now stands in our entranceway.

And I hate it! For many reasons. It looks like a television stand. It is another thing to put stuff on (I believe in closets and like things put in them and out of site). And I am afraid I will be in a rush one day and trip it over ala Dick Van Dyke going over the ottoman (click below).

I told my wife how I feel. She doesn’t care. “Get used to it,” were her instructions. I grumbled and the bench stays. Maybe, I should have dropped to my knees and shrieked, “If you love me, you’ll send it back.” Nah, at this point, she may pick the household item. Damn I’ve been sent to the bench!

Lost That Loving Feeling?

It’s that time of the year.  No, I don’t mean March Madness, regular season baseball, April Fool’s Day, or Spring Break.  This is big – well, at least it is in my world. And I’m afraid I lost that loving feeling.

I went shopping. I don’t mean food shopping – I’ve written about my strange interest in that regular chore. I mean clothes shopping. Really, that’s your big news? That’s probably what you are thinking.  I understand and I am sorry if you feel let down, but please read on.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the vainest one of all? While not the vainest of all, I must admit I’m a bit vain.

However, I would argue with someone who gave me such a title. I like to buy myself new clothes. I think if I had the means and a bigger closet, I might just be a clothes hound.

As a side note, I hate it when people are particularly impressed with my clothes – too weird for me to say ensemble – and  they assume my wife picked out my clothes. Not that she doesn’t have great taste (she picked me, didn’t she?) but give credit where credit is due.

Ironically, I don’t particularly like shopping. I am a bit picky and am on a tight budget – challenging combination. At this point, my wife does much of the shopping for everyday clothes. However, when it comes to formal wear – ties, suits, dress shirts, etc – I handle that myself.

There are two times a year when I do my shopping – that’s why this shopping trip is a big deal. I go around the end of August and sometime in March. The reason for these semi-annual trips is because holidays follow shortly thereafter and as part of my celebration of the holiday, I like to wear at least one knew article of clothes. It makes the holiday more special.

So, yesterday, I went to the The Outlets at Bergen Town Center. I wandered around to a few stores but ultimately ended up at Century 21. I usually go there as they have a nice variety and good prices. In fact, I even have a VIP Loyalty Card dangling on my key chain. That’s commitment.

Yesterday was different. You know how when you go shopping and you buy something that you like and you are excited to wear it because it will look good or you will look good in it (remember, I did say I was vain)? Well, I did not get that feeling. Yes, I liked the items I bought, but the excitement was not there. I don’t why.  In fact, I left the store anxious to get to my car while feeling sweaty and dizzy.

What’s going on with me. Was I just run down?  Was I just in a rush because I wanted to get home and put my son to bed?  Was it that I had work to do and my mind was not into it?

I don’t know. In six more months, I’ll be back at the stores again. We’ll see if the shopping trip once again becomes one of those ‘that time of the year’ events.